Readmill goes after smartphone readers with new iPhone app

Henrik Berggren
Henrik Berggren

Henrik Berggren

Digital reading platform Readmill is today releasing an app for iPhone to serve – and lure – the growing number of people who choose to read eBooks on smartphones.

Readmill – launched by Henrik Berggren (above) and David Kjelkerud in Berlin in December 2011 – lets users access books, read, take notes and share their thoughts and recommendations from within the app as well as “follow” friends and authors. It released an iPad version in December 2012.

Readmill iPhone

Berggren and Kjelkerud originally conceived of Readmill as an answer to the lack of a “social layer” for digital reading and tools to annotate digitally. Today’s release seems to push it more towards people who just want to be able to read on the go.

“We definitely want people to engage with our community and discover how fun that is,” Berggren told us. “But it’s important that people know that we also have the best reading experience out there and that we are a great place to store all of your books. After realising those things, the community will be the extra value everyone wants.”

The iPhone and iPad apps are designed to sync up – the last page read on iPhone, for example, will be the first to appear on iPad if you’re using both apps. Supported formats, since October, include Adobe DRM-protected ePub and PDF files.

The future of mobile reading – smartphones, tablets or readers?

A Pew study in April 2012 found slightly more people in the US use smartphones to read eBooks than tablets (29 per cent compared to 23 per cent). But eReaders such as the Kindle or Nook still topped both – at 49 per cent of those surveyed.

It’s possible that lead won’t last for long. A recent study by market research firm IHS predicted single purpose eReaders will “go the way of the dinosaurs” as multipurpose tablets rise in popularity.

Berggren agrees. “Absolutely, this is one of the fundamentals Readmill was built on. We truly believe that the future of reading will happen on tablets and phones.”

Last June, Readmill raised an undisclosed amount of Series A investment funding from Wellington Partners, joined by existing investors Index Ventures and Passion Capital. Other investors include London-based angel Peter Read.

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